Healthcare and medical translation helps the healthcare and pharmaceutical professions reach as many customers, medical researchers, patients and people working in the healthcare industry as possible. Medical translation jobs — and the translators fueling this vocation — facilitate the exchange of medical knowhow and medical innovations between various communities, countries and continents. And that’s why it’s important to know how medical translation works — and why it has to be done right.
Drug labeling, dosages, medical trials, side effect warnings, medical research (the good news, and the bad), new medical procedures and more, combined with a diverse range of professions, from medical doctors and research scientists to pharmacologists, all rely on sound medical term translation. Translation is how the word on life-giving medicines — or promising new medical procedures — is spread around the globe. In addition to getting the medical terminology across linguistic barriers, the skills a medical translator provides can, and usually do, offer so much more.
As English is the planet’s lingua franca, translating from English into other languages (and occasionally in the other direction as well) is essential for biotech companies, clinical diagnostic firms, pharmaceutical companies and surgical device manufacturers to do business abroad — and in non-English speaking communities closer to home. And of course, when dealing with medicine and technology that is meant to be ingested, or acts directly on the human body, razor sharp accuracy in translation is required. This is true whether we’re talking about multimedia presentations prepared for international conferences, or medical equipment instruction manuals, toxicological and pharmacological reports, or prescription information on the sides of pill bottles.
Medical translation services have to be on their best game when it comes to medical translations, as the stakes are extremely high, with no room for mistakes. Medical translators need to possess sophisticated medical knowledge — often in niche medical areas (biotech, pharmacology, robotic surgery, diverse high-tech diagnostic systems, etc.) — and they need first-rate language skills to boot. A translation firm like GlobalVision, which specializes in medical translations, can pair a company or research institution with the best medical translators for the job, by employing project managers and medical-field linguists with years of experience, ensuring quality (linguistic) and accuracy (medical) across languages and cultures.
The Art (and Science) of Good Medical Terminology Translation
Once you have a qualified translation team working for you, which understands the pitfalls to avoid when translating medical terminology from a source language into a target language (words can be tricky, and act as false friends), as well as the jargon (lots of acronyms) used by the medical profession, you also need to think about your intended audience. Are you translating a research paper for a group of doctors or scientist? Or perhaps your company needs medicine labels and packaging translated into a specific form of French (Haitian French or Maghreb French)? One size does not fit all when it comes to medical translation, and that’s important to note after you and your team have tackled the specialized terminology and scientific aspects of the translation work at hand.
As new research, medical innovations, drug trials, and technological breakthroughs are constantly coming down the line, translation updates and revisiting past work is the norm. The medical world is always in flux, and so of course is the world of medical translation. By working with a translation company with years of medical translation experience, and one that is up-to-date with the latest medical trends, accuracy, art and quality will be infused into all of your medical translation needs. And that, at the end of the day, makes for good health, and good business.
Read our whitepaper 5 Case Studies in Medical Translation and Localization, and register to attend the 15 minute free healthcare localization webinar.